A Tea Addict's Journal


May 17, 2007 · 4 Comments

Today I present you with three teas:

Oh wait, it’s the same one.

I didn’t even take them under different lighting conditions — I merely photoshopped them.

Which one’s the “unedited” one?

You can see how different they look… and I’ve noticed that even in natural sunlight, the colour can be off.  It’s a very annoying thing with digital cameras, I suppose.  The lighting is never quite right.  If the white balance of the camera is off when the picture is taken, then you might have really distorted colours.  When buying on the internet… colour changes can really change your perception of a cake.  It’s not like anybody even has to try to fix the pictures — without actively trying to doctor them, it can still come out being different from the real deal.

Unfortunately, that’s one of the risks of buying online.  When I try to show my cakes, I try to make it so that the colour isn’t too far off from what I see with my naked (well, glasses enhanced) eyes, but it’s never quite 100%…

Categories: Information · Old Xanga posts
Tagged: , ,

4 responses so far ↓

  • kibi_kibi // May 17, 2007 at 1:17 pm | Reply

    Good point; though some cameras do have a manual color balance setting, I doubt that they’re used that often. It’s all about trust, I guess.


  • MANDARINstea // May 17, 2007 at 1:26 pm | Reply

    You are closing into my territory as a graphic artist! Try white balance next time ; ) T

  • HobbesOxon // May 17, 2007 at 1:34 pm | Reply

    A good article! I suspect that the middle photograph is the unedited version.

    The top one has greater contrast – noting the unlikely definition between cake and wrapper, and between cake and neifei. Often used to accentuate the distinction between the leaves, it makes them seem darker, overall, also adding an overtone of agedness to it.

    The middle one is reassuringly milky. Unless you’ve deliberately raised the brightness to simulate the “bad balance” effect, this is often the result of digital photography – many of mine come out this way.

    The bottom one is tinted and saturated – noting that the wrapper accords with these two parameter shifts.

    If in doubt, check out the wrapper colour, and the contrasts – they’re usually the first thing that someone normalises or equalises when digitally manipulating a tea image. The “auto fix” function in many image viewers typically performs this (particularly the otherwise-excellent Image Previewer that comes with Office).

    Good stuff, thanks again.



  • MarshalN // May 17, 2007 at 1:46 pm | Reply

    I use my white balance button every time I take pictures. It doesn’t work terribly well, actually. Sometimes even after white-balancing the colour still comes out as a bit off, and it’s especially true for the liquor of the tea. You need a perfectly white sheet of paper placed exactly where the object is with exactly the same lighting for the white-balance to have decent effects. Often it tries to overcompensate and stuff comes out a little more blue than it should be.

    The middle picture is the original. The top picture is the original but treated with just the “auto-adjust” function. The bottom is after auto-adjust and manually switched to make the tea look more aged without really obvious effects on the wrapper colour.

    The wrapper of this cake is actually off-white — a slight yellow. The neifei is a brighter white. So even though it might look like the middle picture is a little too yellow, it is actually closest to the real colour of the tea — because the paper is, indeed, slightly yellow. Although I think even after I white-balanced the picture (which I did when I took it) it still came out a bit off. Oh well. I think it’s never going to be perfect.

Leave a Comment